Exhibition Archive

Exhibition information

The 321st Exhibition KM Karel Martens

May 08, 2013 - May 30, 2013

Design by Karel Martens in Collaboration with Toshimasa Kimura
Design by Karel Martens in Collaboration with Toshimawa Kimura
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Printing one color on top of another creates a third. Generating various effects through the layering of ink is the essence of printing, the fundamental quality that appealed to Karel Martens. Using found objects such as toy parts, hardware, and scraps of steel, he has printed a variety of surface shapes on aged and textured papers. Martens is defined by his numerous striking printed works made using layers of clear color.
The publication in 1996 of Printed Matter/Drukwerk, a rich compilation of both experimental works and designs done in the course of his professional practice, brought Martens global recognition as a force to be reckoned with and led to a rapid rise in how his work was assessed. An expanded and revised second edition was published in 2001, followed by a further expanded and revised third edition in 2010, and the book has begun to exercise no small influence on designers in Japan.
This is Martens’ first solo exhibition in Japan. It takes the form of a new installation of previous commissioned works and independent experimental works at a Tokyo gallery. At the same time, new work will also be presented as a further evolution of the Kinetic Box Construction (1964) that sparked so much of Martens’ subsequent work. This new work shows the time difference between Amsterdam and Tokyo and gives a sense of the physical distance, and perhaps even the cultural differences, between these two locations.
Transcending both the sensibility currently captivating Martens and an overwhelming sense of distance, Martens’ studio in Amsterdam and the works created there are reproduced as a new experience at ggg in Tokyo.


ginza graphic gallery (ggg)
DNP Ginza Building, 7-2, Ginza 7-chome 
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Tel: 03.3571.5206
Opening hours: 11:00am – 7:00pm (until 6:00pm on Saturdays)
Closed on Sundays and holidays
Admission free

Gallery Talk

4:00 - 5:30pm Wednesday, May 8
Speaker: Karel Martens
Venue: DNP Ginza Bldg. 3F
Free admission, Reservation required (seating capacity: 70)
*Book your seat (Sorry, the page is in Japanese only)

We will also be streaming it live on Ustream:
Title:ggg「KM カレル・マルテンス展」ギャラリートーク
gggURL: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ggg-km-カレル-マルテンス-ギャラリートーク

Karel Martens

Graphic designer Karel Martens completed his education at the Arnhem Academy of Art and Industrial Arts (Holland) in 1961. Since then he has worked as a freelance graphic designer, specializing in typography. In addition to commissioned work, he has always made prints and three-dimensional work. Among his clients have been the publishers Van Loghum Slaterus in Arnhem in the 1960s, and the SUN (Socialistische Uitgeverij Nijmegen) in the years 1975-81. As well as designing books and printed matter, he has designed stamps and telephone cards (for the Dutch PTT). He has also designed signs and typographic facades for a number of buildings. In 2005 he designed the glass facades of the new part of the building for the Philharmonie in Haarlem; this design was based on a music score by the dutch composer Louis Andriessen. Since 1990 he is responsible for the design of OASE, Journal for Architecture. Among his awards have been the H. N.Werkman Prize (1993) , the Dr. A. H. Heineken Prize for the Arts (1996) and the Gerrit Noordzij Prize (2012). A monograph about his work, Karel Martens: Printed Matter, was published as part of the Heineken Prize. Martens has taught graphic design since 1977, first at the Arnhem Academy and later (1994-97) at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. Since 1997 he is a senior critic in graphic design at Yale University in New Haven. In the same year he and Wigger Bierma founded the Werkplaats Typografie (WT) for postgraduate education within the ArtEZ, Institute for the Arts, Arnhem. From 2001 onward he shares the artistic supervision together with Armand Mevis.


Azusa Ozawa, ginza graphic gallery Tel: 03.3571.5206